D&H Forges Alliance To Help SMB Partners Adopt The Cloud12:00 PM EST Sun. Mar. 10, 2013
D&H Distributing unveiled an alliance with a Seattle-based cloud platform company geared toward helping the distributor's channel partners make effective transitions toward cloud computing and related services.
Partners will receive access to Cloud Nation, a membership-based cloud services aggregator that provides a full range of services and solutions, as well as extensive training and community resources to support the successful shift toward this new paradigm.
"We formed a strategic partnership between our two companies with the goal of helping small resellers get into cloud solutions," said Jeff Davis, senior vice president of sales at D&H. "This partnership provides them with a platform that is easy to use, gets them trained and certified, and ultimately makes it very easy for them to transact on the cloud. We spent a lot of time trying to figure out if we wanted to build something on our own, or partner with another company. But the Cloud Nation platform is ideally suited to our SMB resellers, so it really makes sense for our two companies to work together."
Cloud Nation features a portfolio of resources that include "Cloud Essentials" training and certification, an advanced level of training and certification, access to a cloud solutions platform based on virtual desktops and servers, turnkey cloud-based infrastructure solutions and ongoing managed services, community access, sales and marketing support, and multitiered billing options.
"Before you can go out to sell Cloud Nation you must be CNCP-certified, meaning that you are a Cloud Nation Certified Professional," explained Tom Poole, president of Cloud Nation. "We've put together a curriculum of 10 in-depth courses that frame up the cloud discussion and explore issues like how to sell the cloud, how to provide service in the cloud, how to do sales and marketing support around the cloud, and how to assess whether a prospect is a good fit for the cloud. Some of our resellers think they don't need the training, but literally 100 percent of them come back and acknowledge that they learned a lot. So the entire ecosystem is pretty much predicated on being able to educate them and prepare them for these conversations."
Upon completion of the curriculum, which is provided free of charge through D&H, member VARs will be able to leverage the platform to sell a roster of cloud-based technologies, such as virtual desktops and servers from various manufacturers, including Microsoft, Adobe and Citrix. Non-D&H partners are charged $495 to participate.
NEXT: A Community Of Partners
Cloud Nation created its community portal on the force.com platform through which members can also participate in various activities, review clients and prospects, set up marketing campaigns, deal with support issues, and communicate with other members. "We've tried to develop an ecosystem that supports the entire community of resellers," said Poole.
The formal announcement of the alliance was made on Sunday during the Cloud Forum portion of the XChange Solution Provider event under way this week at the Peabody Hotel in Orlando, Fla., where Davis delivered the keynote supporting the D&H launch of Microsoft Office 365.
"This is exactly the sort of thing that [our resellers are] looking for," added Davis. "Most of our resellers were not born in the cloud, and they're used to transacting based on software licenses. But now they see everything migrating towards the cloud and are highly interested in going out and transacting in the cloud. They just don't know how, and they are looking to us for help."
PUBLISHED MARCH 10, 2013